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#2758899 - 09/30/12 03:03 PM Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614
k1rod Offline


Registered: 12/17/06
Posts: 258
Loc: Arizona
After seeing DirtRacers post showing a cut open Fram Tough Guard filter, I decided I couldn't trust the one I had in the stash so I cut it open too.
I didn't see the major QC problems DirtRacer found with his but it certainly isn't IMHO a top shelf filter. Here Are the photos:



This photo shows how off centered the cardboard endcaps are on the filtering media.


I have no idea what these discolored splotches are...


Showing some very uneven pleats.


Angle View.

Everything looked glued correctly and I didn't see any paths for oil bypass but nothing special here either. The center tube was round,
the ADV looked good, the filter was functional. I guess if I were characterize this, I would say it just looks like there is no "pride of workmanship" here.


Edited by k1rod (09/30/12 03:11 PM)

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#2758918 - 09/30/12 03:38 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: k1rod]
pbm Offline


Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 5126
Loc: New York
I had no problem with that filter (cardboard end-caps) until I saw the huge pleat spacing in the last two photos.....that's terrible quality control. That spacing alone would take these filters off my list....

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#2758923 - 09/30/12 03:47 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: k1rod]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3249
Loc: USA
If only Fram came in clear housings,I dont think anyone would buy one.Wonder how bad their drop in elements look?

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#2758927 - 09/30/12 03:54 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: k1rod]
cp3 Offline


Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 2549
Loc: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Well, another disappointment. I guess maybe I got lucky with the TG3387A I used, looked better than either this or DirtRacer's.

Thanx to both for the pics!
_________________________
Dodge Charger|Pennzoil Platinum 5w20|Mopar MO-744
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#2758928 - 09/30/12 03:56 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: NHGUY]
cp3 Offline


Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 2549
Loc: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: NHGUY
If only Fram came in clear housings,I dont think anyone would buy one.Wonder how bad their drop in elements look?


Cartridge filters don't look too bad at all. TG9018
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#2758944 - 09/30/12 04:16 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: k1rod]
sayjac Offline


Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 7908
Loc: The Old North State
Pleat spacing doesn't concern me, bypass design is fine imo as is the silicone adbv. And the tapping plate is the superior design. Biggest complaint again is the fiber endcap seemingly not extending beyond the centertube around the full diameter.

Thanks for the pics.

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#2758984 - 09/30/12 05:40 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: k1rod]
SS1970chrysler Offline


Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 1301
Loc: PA
The only thing I see that would concern me is that the seam for the ends of the media strip aren't sealed together much if at all on this one. Last one I opened had a metal piece over the seam.
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62 LeSabre- Rotella 15w-40+Fram

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#2758998 - 09/30/12 05:54 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: k1rod]
DirtRacer53 Offline


Registered: 06/28/12
Posts: 118
Loc: South Central PA, US

What did I start? hornets

Btw, was one side of the filter element longer than the other


Edited by DirtRacer53 (09/30/12 05:56 PM)
_________________________
2005 Chevy Silverado 1500 4.3L
Current Fill: QSUD 5W-30
Fram TG3387A Oil Filter
Fram TGA8755A Air Filter

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#2759039 - 09/30/12 06:27 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: k1rod]
carwreck Offline


Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 464
Loc: CT
Originally Posted By: k1rod
After seeing DirtRacers post showing a cut open Fram Tough Guard filter...
Showing some very uneven pleats.


The uneven pleats are just a result of the automated machine used to wrap the pleats around the core. (2:40-3:00 in video)
Fram orange can with black handgrip

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#2759059 - 09/30/12 06:47 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: carwreck]
cp3 Offline


Registered: 07/26/06
Posts: 2549
Loc: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Yes that is the reason for the uneven pleats but we have seen examples where that large spread has caused the media to fail. E-Core and Purolator Classic I believe they were. The spacing was wide enough to allow the pleat to fold down, the E-Core was blown through the center tube and the Classic ripped at the glue. Not a Fram only problem but one I would like to avoid if I can.

I also just realized the 3387 I linked to had the metal clip on the end seam of the media. Seems they have dropped that as well.
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#2759090 - 09/30/12 07:11 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: DirtRacer53]
k1rod Offline


Registered: 12/17/06
Posts: 258
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: DirtRacer53

What did I start? hornets

Btw, was one side of the filter element longer than the other


I'm glad you started it. This filter is priced at $6.99 most places putting it in the marketing category of a "premium" filter. I think it's good for us to investigate whether it is or isn't.

Was one side of the element longer? Not significantly. I measured the length (height) of the filter element at 90 degree intervals. The measurements were 2.40" @ 0 deg, 2.38 @ 90 deg, 2.38" @ 180 deg, 2.39" @ 270 deg. Max variance was 0.02". Not too bad.

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#2759203 - 09/30/12 08:50 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: k1rod]
dnewton3 Offline



Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 5539
Loc: Indianapolis, IN
I was about ready to buy some TGs but now I'm second guessing them ...

In theory, they are fine. The fiber board does not really bother me the way it does some others. The ADBV is silicone; I like it. The can itself seems reasonable; I like that. The endplate seems well made. I like that.

But it seems like the quality control around the media and sub-structure suffers in reality.

A well designed product means nothing if manufacturing fails to produce what was the intent.


Edited by dnewton3 (09/30/12 08:51 PM)
_________________________
Conventionals vs. Synthetics isn't about which is "better"; it's about which lasts longer, while assuring safe operation, in relation to cost. Any product can be over or under utilized. The same applies to filters.
Make an informed decision; first consider your operating conditions, next determine your maintenance plan, and then pick your lube and filter. Don't do it the other way around ...

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#2759222 - 09/30/12 09:27 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: dnewton3]
k1rod Offline


Registered: 12/17/06
Posts: 258
Loc: Arizona
I think I'm exactly where you are 'dnewton". I think that this filter would have worked OK over a reasonable OCI, but that was just this particular filter. The sloppy looking QC standards applied to this filter make me seriously wonder if the next one I purchased would not be functional, much as the filter DirtRacer's is showing is not. You can not cut every filter open to see if the particular one you've got is good so that leaves you having to trust the manufacturer with the well being of our very expensive automobiles. From all I am seeing, Fram does not appear to merit that trust. JMHO.

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#2759701 - 10/01/12 12:14 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: k1rod]
edhackett Online   content


Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 1498
Loc: Sequim, WA
What do you guys mean that filter is "fine"? Look at the third picture again. The center tube is off center. This is a place for oil to bypass. These should have the center tube fully covered by the end caps so that the center tube provides a solid support for the end pieces to seal against.

Ed
_________________________
Never attribute to engineers that into which politicians, lawyers, accountants, and marketeers have poked their fingers.

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#2759723 - 10/01/12 12:46 PM Re: Another Fram Tough Guard Cut Open - TG3614 [Re: edhackett]
ZeeOSix Offline


Registered: 07/22/10
Posts: 6706
Loc: PNW
Originally Posted By: edhackett
What do you guys mean that filter is "fine"? Look at the third picture again. The center tube is off center. This is a place for oil to bypass. These should have the center tube fully covered by the end caps so that the center tube provides a solid support for the end pieces to seal against.

Ed


It should actually seal OK. You can see the ring impression on the end cap where the seal takes place. The ring located about 1/8~1/4" out from the center tube.

In the 2nd photo, is there a gap/hole through the media where the ends of the pleats attach to the end cap, or is that an optical illusion?

Overall, I don't like the construction of the FRAMs, except for the Ultra XG series.

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